Saints of the Day – Gaudentius of Brescia

Saint Gaudentius of BresciaArticle

Died c.410. Saint Gaudentius was apparently educated under Saint Philastrius, bishop of Brescia, Italy, and considered him his spiritual father.

He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem hoping to escape the attention his reputation has gained him at home, and then became a monk at Caesarea in Cappadocia. During this time, Saint Philastrius died, and the clergy and people of Brescia chose Gaudentius to succeed him, overruling his objections. He was consecrated by his friend, Saint Ambrose of Milan, c.387.

A nobleman named Benevolus, who had been disgraced by Empress Justina because he failed to support the Arians, had retired to Brescia. Due to ill health, he was unable to attend Gaudentius’s Easter sermons, and he asked Gaudentius to write them down. For this reason, ten of the saint’s sermons survive.

Saint Gaudentius is remembered, however, chiefly in connection with Saint John Chrysostom. After Chrysostom was banished for the second time in 404, the Western emperor, Honorius wrote on his behalf to Emnperor Arcadius at Constantinople.

The letter, with another form Pope Saint Innocent I, was carried by a deputation, of which Gaudentius was a principal member. They were stopped by officials outside Constantinople and ordered to give up the letters, and when they refused to deliver them to anyone but Arcadius in person they were taken from them by force.

Then a vain attempt was made to bribe the deputation to recognize Chrysostom’s intruded successor as archbishop. Gaudentius saw that their mission was hopeless, and at his request they were eventually allowed to go back home.

They were shipped on a vessel so unseaworthy that it had to be left at Lampsacus. Chrysostom sent a letter of thanks for their efforts to Saint Gaudentius and the others, a rather stiff and cool missive which suggests it was written by a secretary rather than by the warm-hearted John.

Rufinus (who wrote one of the first ecclesiastical histories) had a high opinion of Saint Gaudentius as a teacher, but only a few homilies have survived (Attwater, White).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 August 2020. Web. 24 November 2020. <>